Skip to main content

tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  December 1, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PST

1:00 am
talks about how they won. but i got bad news for you. you didn't win. mitt romney, your entire team, get in the middle of the ring. oh no, what's coming, that's right. 332 electoral votes. bad day for you guys. happy day for everybody else. ana, mark, dorothy jayar night. show. have a great night. we'll see you monday. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer, and this is "viewpoint." after months of bloodshed in syria, the u.s. could be close to recognizing the country's rebel coalition. cairo's tahrir square is once again the scene of angry protests and as the islam mist
1:01 am
dominated constituent assembly pushes you through the draft constitution. yes, the middle east is living down to its reputation as the world's leading source of turmoil. we start tonight in syria. the damascus airport was reopened friday following fighting that saw international flights canceled thursday republics say they destroyed regular syrian army vehicles near the airport while syrian military jets bombed damascus suburbs that are the strongholds for the rebellan. the rebels have enjoyed a series of tactical successes in the recent weeks capturing air bases and military supplies. the rebels have also scored on the diplomatic front, as britain, france, turkey and the gulf cooperation council recently recognized their umbrella group the national coalition of syrian
1:02 am
revolutionary and oppositional forces as the legitimate representative of the syrian people. and now the u.s. may go along as well 37 in washington today secretary of state hillary clinton was guarded as she discussed the rebel's recent successes. >> opposition in syria is now holding ground, and they are better equipped and more able to bring the fight to the government forces. i don't know that you can say that for the entire country it is yet at a tipping point but it certainly seems that the regime will be much harder pressed in the next months. >> eliot: in cairo protesters continue to press the regime of president mohammed morsi to relinquish the new powers he announced for himself this week. some protesters also object to
1:03 am
the new draft egyptian constitution, which was finished friday and sent to morsi for review. meanwhile in israel you prime prime minister benjamin netanyahu government has announced plans to build housing that would physically link jerusalem with major west bank settlement. it is called counterproductive to the goals resuming direct negotiations between israel and the palestinians and achieving the two-state peace settlement that has been the u.s. diplomat i can goal for decades. for more on all these issues let's go to nicholas burns former undersecretary of state for political affairs former ambassador to n.a.t.o. and greece and now professor at the harvard kennedy school, and michael ohanlon senior fellow at
1:04 am
the brookings institution and coauthor of "bending history"." will we and should we recognize the opposition forces? >> i think the obama administration needs to make a big decision. do you confer recognition on national council as legitimate authority of the syrian people. the reason for doing this, they need to push assad out as quickly as possible. he's holding on, and if something doesn't change in this equilibrium he may hold on for months on end. this war could spread in lebanon, jordan, iraq, that's not in the interest of the united states. they need to reinforce this coalition. that's one reason. the other is one of self interest. it's likely that at some point assad is going to fall. this particular group or some element of it will take over as the government of syria. we should want to have influence there given the importance of
1:05 am
syria, and the importance of syria to iran. because if we can separate a new syrian government from the iranians that would be a major strategic advantage to the united states. >> eliot: michael, it certainly does seem that the trendline is not favorable to assad, that's good news. but is this another instance where we've been leading from have been perhaps one step too late and have not been forthright enough in supporting the opposition? >> you know, that may be, and i'm not surprised and i don't think we could have done much different here. syria is like iraq, you have a brutal dictator and a population in the middle of the middle east. you go in and try to own this country, so to speak you may wind up with an extended operation that at least partially resembles the two we've had over the last decade. i can understand the reluctant.
1:06 am
i thought it would unfold like the bosnian intervention of '92- '92-'95 before it took awhile that there was anything we could do. once the battle lines formed more neatly across the ethnic and sectarian groups we were in a better position to take sides and an little more decisive with a limited we're headed. i'm not surprised it has taken this long to get to this step. >> eliot: it's been a frustration enunciated loudly and clearly. it's easy to be critical of lack of action. you both have been saiding that intervention is the least favorable and useful, and we want to contain this process because syria could explode out rather than explode in. ambassador, is there an idea of what a post-assad regime would look like? can we mold them? do we have any sense of what that would look like? >> it's very difficult to forecast that, eliot. thisthis is a collection of varied
1:07 am
groups. it looks a lot like the group that was outing muammar gaddafi from libya a year ago. another reason for the united states to be proactive and play a stronger lead is to get to know these people and try to shape this organization on the margins if we can do that, and one more think anybody is proposing an u.s.-military intervention on the ground. we're really talking about political recognition perhaps arm sales at this point. >> eliot: perhaps giving turkey defense mechanism, but exactly. i haven't heard anybody say send marines in. michael, let me ask you this. is there anything to the notion that if the internet lines are being cut and phones lines are coming down at a we can predict something more vigorous from the assad regime. >> i'm not sure. it could be a defensive reaction. the rebels are acting in a
1:08 am
defensive way, taking air bases and i didn't mean to imply earlier myself that there could be or would be a near-term ground envision. but once you start to use western military power in a country you're investing your credibility and taking a step that is hard to walk away from if you fail in that step, that's the worse case that could take you. bottom line any step of intervention raises questions of where it should stop. >> eliot: let's go back to the u.n. vote which gave the palestinians observer status. ambassador, does that in any tangible or meaningful way change the negotiation or the balance between abbas or hamas in terms of the leader in the palestinian world? >> it's purely symbol victory. that may help him a little bit in his joust for power that he
1:09 am
has going on with hamas. it does not change the situation on the ground between the palestinians and israel. i think this is really the decision announced by the government today to expand settlements particularly in the key parts of the eastern part of jerusalem in a large settlement block, it's very worrisome. the united states will have to criticize this. if they build those 3,000 housing settlements it off the northern part of the west bank from the southern part of the west bank. very worrisome if you try to negotiate a final peace deal. >> eliot: michael, i have not heard anybody that disagrees with the analysis there. that's these have an unique lick destructive play and role in the prospect of peace negotiation. what can we do after this vote? how can the president called prime minister netanyahu and say don't do it? this is a tough moment for netanyahu as well.
1:10 am
>> nick burns has more experience in these issues than i do, but in theory it could be walked back or transferred to palestinians as part of a peace deal. the problem is that israeli politics starts to get engaged pretty quickly and you get certain interest groups living in these settlements or associated with these settlements, and it will be difficult to chase away these settlements in the future. you may think it's reversible, but because of the linkage with israeli domestic politics that gets very complicated. i agree with nick burns, we have to try to stop this before it goes any further. >> eliot: it is the case that other settlements have been gun constructed and then left behind where settlers have been brought back and land cleared. it could be given back, that has happened, but never easy to do. netanyahu needs to be looking at
1:11 am
abbas and say he would rather negotiate with abbas than hamas. shouldn't he extend an olive branch to abbas and wouldn't he want to do that some how. >> you would think so, but he has not done that in the last several years. he has made no attempt to negotiate with abbas. and it has given more play and strength to the hamas. the israelis are also facing their election. another reason for today's decision on settlement obviously it's a january 22nd election where the prime minister wants to return with a solid government. >> eliot: as we all learned foreign policy has domestic roots all over the place. we forget that sometimes. let's switch over to egypt, president morsi who came off the heels of international kudos and then came into bear tracks with his assembly and protest. is the content of this constitutional draft to the extent we've been able to pars
1:12 am
it one that we in the united states look at favorably. does it balance civil liberties and the necessary role of islam in the new democracy in egypt? >> well, you know there is no way to call this a great constitution. it's a patchwork, and sort of a cobbling together various pieces of the old constitution with a few new ideas. if you want to be nervous there is plenty in there to be nervous. but i'm remaining hopeful for egypt. i'm impressed, and it could be revised at any point. i'm impressed with how they've handled their revolution over the last year and a half. it could be so much worse. there could have been a muslim brotherhood who could have broken the peace treaty with israel or those who decided to go out against all the other groups in the country besides the sunni muslims or stop talking to the united states all together. now you may not have that luxury. it would be a stupid decision to
1:13 am
do that because he needs our economic help and engagement, but there are a lot of fire brand radical revolutionaries around the world who might have been tempted. morsi so far in my mind has been trying to navigate a pragmatic course. i'm going to stay hopeful. sure there are reasons to be worried but no thing in this document that makes me want to abandon ship just yet. >> eliot: with my lesser base of knowledge share that pragmatic optimism. ambassador, is this well-founded on our part or do you see more sinister shadows lurking in the background. >> no, i agree with you and with mike. the egyptians have done pretty well compared to what could have happened. but this is a big moment in their revolution. this power struggle under way over the last week between the forces muslim brotherhood morsi and the opposition groups, this is a big bet that morsi is making that he can ram this constitution through a referendum. hundreds of thousands of people
1:14 am
protesting in cairo, and the united states has to keep to opposing objective in balance here. we need to talk to him especially behind the scenes about trying to reinforce the democratic roots of egypt, and not turning towards authoritarianism. he's the most powerful arab leader, so we have to deal with him. >> eliot: in terms of someone who came from nowhere, and as you just pointed out, one of the king makers he has been the most amazing story in the past year or so. michael, will this constitution be embraced by the public? it is subject to a vote, as i understand it, by the public. will it win? >> um, it's pretty hard to call. it looks to me like it has a good chance, but it's almost just as important to ask the people who are unhappy about it how do they express their unhappiness? if it's a process where they think they'll have a second day to come back through legal means or political means, and revise things they don't like, that's
1:15 am
one thing. if they feel like they have to take to the streets again that's another. so in many cases with revolutions it's not so much the question of exactly who wins and who loses, but how the losers handle their frustration through violence or some other means. that's what i'm going to be concerned about among others things. >> eliot: emanating from the always quiet middle east, nicholas burns and michael thank you for your time this evening. the absurd drama of the sow called fisca
1:16 am
1:17 am
view want the great bargain for the holiday season? i got one for you and it's the number of the day. two for one. that's the deal the country gets from spending on infrastructure. this is not just some ginned up number from the lefty group interested in trying to make the government bigger. the federal reserve bank of san francisco looked at a classic
1:18 am
kind of infrastructure project. road construction. it turns out for every dollar of federal highway grant that goes into a state, that state's annual economic output goes up by at least $2. that's much better return than the typical government spending. plus the payback goes even higher during an economic down turn. if you're looking (vo) as marijuana gains social and legal acceptance, a new pioneer is emerging from the backwoods. >> i'm basically like a farmer. instead of corn, you've got dope. (vo) but what is legal and what is criminal? >> this is, no matter what you do, a violation of federal law. (vo) follow real farmers staking their claim on a new frontier. >> lots of terrible things happen to people growing marijuana. >> this crop to me is my livelihood. >> i have everything invested in this.
1:19 am
>> eliot: as the clock ticks close the fiscal slope the posturing continues. today the president held a campaign style event in pennsylvania to tout his proposal in the fiscal cliff negotiations saying that the american people made their economic wishes clear on the election day. >> obama: this was a central questions in the election. maybe the central question in the election. you remember. we talked about this a lot. at the end of the day a clear majority of americans--democrats republicans, independents--they agreed with a balanced. >> eliot: republicans meanwhile openly deride the president's proposal saying they're the ones taking negotiations seriously. >> the proposal that was delivered here by secretary geithner the speaker and me yesterday was not a serious proposal. >> i mean, it's--it's--it's--it was not a serious proposal. i think the debt crisis that we face requires us to make serious
1:20 am
decisions. >> we're not playing a game. we're being serious. >> eliot: bottom line. let's hope there is a different script being played out behind the scenes. joining me now for some serious wisdom is staff reporter for mother jones andy kroll. thank you for joining me tonight. >> my pleasure. >> eliot: is there a different script? this is a kabuki dance we're seeing played out in public. is there something different going on privately. >> any time a big negotiation like this involving the white house and congress there are always two parallel john boehner eric cantor, what they're saying publicly, and what they're leaking to the press this is all selective, and what is happening behind closed doors. i'm sure and i hear there are negotiations going on. they are frackous, big surprise there. but the real work is happening
1:21 am
outside of the public view right now. >> eliot: i hope so, but i will tell you just between us i'm tired of the public dimension of this because it's silly and repetitive of what we heard during the campaign. is it a fiscal cliff or a slope? how dramatic will this fall off be on january 1st? or is there going to be the decision that if this decision is not made on january 1st, we'll be fine. >> they constantly talk about short-term agreement right now and then pushing important decision abouts entitlement reform taxes that kind of stuff into 2013. clearly we're not confronting a killer drop off, a fiscal cliff that we hear so often that will send the country careening into a recession after bees december 31st.
1:22 am
this will play out across 2013. it's not going to happen all on one single day. it is a fiscal slope. some of the budget lines here in washington has tried to emphasize that point. but the problem is when you have john boehner and in the white house, folks like this in washington using the term fiscal cliff, it takes to become a reality and take on language of its own. >> eliot: it seems to me that there is an element of hysteria being created and used by some folks. you have fix the debt coalition that is away at this terror, and then you see cmbc and this business interest. then they come in and ask for a huge cut in corporate taxes. one doesn't follow the other. is this an element of a trojan horse being used by folks to ramp up hysteria, and then get policy changes that aren't even
1:23 am
related to the issue they're talking about? >> yeah, the real issue that folks need to keep their eye on is the topic of tax reform. a broader tax reform. it's unclear whether we'll see that as part of the deal that happens before the so-called fiscal cliff and fiscal slope by the end of this year or in 2013, but we could see real corporate tax reform, possibly lowering in this year or next. these things can get lost in the details when folks are talking about the bush tax cuts and medicare and medicaid thinking about corporate taxes. but there is so much that could go in this deal. corporate taxes could be part of it. you would see ceos on television getting involved in this kind of stuff if there wasn't something at stake for them when it came to paying taxes and their bottom line. >> eliot: and another indicator
1:24 am
of how far apart the parties are when you hear the debt ceiling where last year things got really angry politically as well as in the private negotiation. you have john boehner saying you are going to have to pay me a price to raise the debt ceiling. as a matter of policy they're saying you pass the tax bill. will there be a long term agreement to the debt ceiling in this issue? >> i doubt it. i'm hearing three-month extension. six-month extension. the republicans have seized upon the debt ceiling as an issue as a piece of leverage. i don't think you would be seeing democrats talking about changes to medicaid or changes to medicare as part of any of
1:25 am
these deals if republicans didn't have the debt ceiling on the other side, oh, we're going to have another debt ceiling fight. we've seen that movie. we know how it ends. harry reid, the senator majority leader is ticked off having to deal with the debt ceiling again. there is going to have to be some resolution to that in a deal because we don't want to see this happen over and over. >> eliot: there is only one good answer, take it off the table. the president should have the authority unilaterally to set the debt based on the taxes. but we'll save that for another day. thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> eliot: do you know there was a plane crash in chicago? worry there w
1:26 am
1:27 am
1:28 am
>> eliot: still to come, filmmaker josh fox on his latest short, occupy sandy, an account of selfless hurricane relief and those who provided it.
1:29 am
but first rick santelli and bill o'reilly are angry and very angry. when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> ladies and gentlemen the fiscal cliff. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> it's my point rick. >> go to charlotte and say fairness, and then they run to try to beat the tax man which is-- >> i think he's doing his job. >> shame on them. >> no, job. >> i don't want to talk about it any more. >> he's gone. >> no, fox news, you guys are too angry. >> i'm not angry governor. i'm a happy guy. i want our traditions to be
1:30 am
respected. that's all. >> well, merry christmas. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> do not attempt to adjust your tv settings or smack the dvr. yes, that is a shetland pony, and a zebra taking a wednesday morning trot down staten island's victory boulevard. >> that is so cool. wouldn't you just want to hop out of the boat on top. >> didn't "moby dick" end up in the whale's mouth? >> jonah? >> i was thinking about jonah. >> we have breaking news. we have a plane crash, 29th and drive. >> let's go to sky cam. sky cam is cutting in and out. but it's supposedly in the middle of the road. >> it looks like a giant hole in the middle of the street. oh--
1:31 am
>> are you kidding me? >> we're just getting word this is part of a tv show. >> are you kidding me? they might want to tell the news folks when they're doing this and shutting down king drive are you kidding me? >> you know, i was pumped as a 12 gauge to see students with gun permits can get their own segregated dorms at the university of colorado. forever ensuring that no one will think of it as a safety school. >> eliot: am i the only one who thinks it's been a very
1:32 am
1:33 am
>> eliot: it was corruption on wall street that initially sparked the protest movement that occupied sue zuccotti park last year. occupy sandy is filling the void in emergency relief partnering with the religious institutions
1:34 am
bringing desperately needed resources to new york's hardest hit communities. josh fox chronicles the work of occupy sandy as well as the human terms of climate change in a newly released short documentary. >> a breezy point an entire neighborhood burned to the ground deposited here in a parking lot of the peach. mattresses, sides of houses, everything one could find each small pile representing a person or a family. a tiny sliver of the american dream left on the scrap heap. >> they've been predicting a storm this big would change the coast line for a long time. we just never saw it. now we have. i think people will start thinking more seriously about it. >> eliot: josh fox joins me now. thank you for being here and poignant documentary you've created. >> thank you for having me. i was sitting at home in my brooklyn studio, and i had to walk over ten blocks to the
1:35 am
church at 520 clinton to see what occupy sandy was doing. i was blown away by their efforts. tens of thousands of ordinary new yorkers, volunteering and bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of supplies, and then distributing them out to the affected hurricane areas. a human network of mutual aid. that's what they talked about not charity. charity is rich people give to go poor people. mutual aid is a community helping itself through that occupy network. >> eliot: it is the case that disasters like in bring out the best in many folks. you have seen that part of this as well as in your movie. the over dimension of this is will sandy and something that nobody really anticipated hasn't made climate change once again an issue of controversy something that had fallen off during the political campaign during the political season, now it's back. >> we forget that cuomo broke that climate silence and coming out and saying clearly we have extreme weather.
1:36 am
clearly climate change is a factor here. what is amazing about occupy sandy, not only is there a disaster relief effort on the ground, people serving people, but it's also a political message that says we have to deal with the long-term effects of climate change and the disaster that means addressing global warming and fossil fuel production. >> cenk: there has been a sequence of mega storms. you can ignore one but not two three, four, five sequentially. people would say we don't know if this storm is implicates climate change. now everybody says yes these are a consequence of climate change and we're seeing it in disastrous images. >> well, bill, the first author of "end of nature" the first book on climate change has the best line in the film. he said we should be calling these for the fossil fuel companies, call it exxon and go right through the alphabet with
1:37 am
every coal and oil company exxon is smashing the coast and flooding the new york subway system. when we have an atlantic association that is 5 degrees warmer, they're stretching longer and coming up the coast and clearly with irene hitting us in central pennsylvania, vermont last year and sandy doing this absolutely horrific damage to new york city, it's a wake-up call. >> eliot: we're beginning to see with regularity maps of what coast lines will look like when ocean lines rise three feet, five feet. it may not happen in the next five years unless we change our trajectory of science. >> this is something that leadership needs to talk about. as a storyteller i know we have to get the story out happening. we immediately have to start
1:38 am
transforming our economy to renewable energy. that's totally duible. we can run everything we have right now off existing technology from the wind and the sun and renewable energy. the second thing, it's an incredible economic benefit and economic engine to this area. there are community centers out on the rockaways that have power because greenpeace pulled up with a solar array on the back of a truck and that distributed generated energy helps people. >> eliot: it is unfortunately an event to drive home the reality of what you can do at a moment of distress when you need to find alternative energy sources. you've done that. i want to pivot a little bit. the occupy movement has morphed into something different. it's changed it's imagery and providing real services to real people. is that going to continueing transformation?
1:39 am
is this a new cause for occupy. >> one would argue that they were a disaster organization when they were dealing with the wall street disaster. but this is a new form of politics and aid. we have such inequality in our society that has to be addressed. when you talk about occupy sandy and occupy movement, you're looking an organization dealing with disaster relief and talking about important issues that we need to talk about. climate change is on everybody's mind from the people out in rockaway, to the people who are walking in the door at occupy sandy. >> eliot: is there another line that connected the wall street effort to occupy sandy where this is an area where cataclysm brought havoc and there has not been a positioned political response. we're showing up to tell you change the way you're doing things. >> another great line, radicals are not those radicals work at oil companies.
1:40 am
extremists work at these banks that are so destructive and fueling climate change. we have to go after the fossil fuels saying you're putting us all in harm's away, whether it's across the united states or what happened in the gulf of mexico or the effects of communities being destroyed by massive hurricane that we've never seen the likes of before. we have to zero in on transform transforming our economy away from fossil fuels. >> eliot: what will the first test of president obama's willingness be that? will it be the keystone pipeline pipeline? and should he in your view cancel it outright? should he say bad idea, we're not going to buy into this. >> absolutely. we need the conversation. in the wake of 911 we created the homeland security. the strategy was quite different but why can't we create that. in an
1:41 am
extreme way and we need to push that dialogue forward. i think the president has to start speak about this in clear terms. he's certainly capable and smart enough and motivated by science and motivated by logic. to be withholding this conversation and not calling it for what it is, it's at this point irresponsible. >> eliot: he has hinted he wants to do something, what the something is remains to be seen, whether he'll have the backbone and political courage to cancel keystone will be an early test of where this administration goes. >> i agree with you. >> eliot: josh fox director of the fracking film "gas land" whose latest short film titled "occupy sandy." thank you for what you've done for us. >> thank you. >> eliot: just in time for the
1:42 am
[ male announcer ] red lobster's crabfest ends soon. hurry in and try five succulent entrees like our tender snow crab paired with savory garlic shrimp. just $12.99. come into red lobster and sea food differently. and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99. salads, sandwiches, and more.
1:43 am
1:44 am
. >> david: the election is over so why are our leaders giving campaign speeches about the economy? th (vo) when the clock runs out when the last card is played
1:45 am
what will be remembered? explore the lives of the famous and infamous who changed our world forever. experience the drama, back to back to back. of all the hours in all their days, the ones you'll never forget are the final 24. kick off the premiere of the final 24 with a mini-marathon this sunday on current tv. save the best for last. >> eliot: is anyone else sick of talking about the fiscal cliff? a year ago facing a stagnant economy and long term deficit everybody in washington agreed they should come together make the tough decisions that had to be made. something that would provide short-term stimulus but long-term debt relief. after all we all knew something had to be done. the health of our nation depended on it. washington, surprise surprise, decided to delay for the umpteenth time kicking the proverbial can down the road.
1:46 am
then the campaign really heated up and we were told we would have our sweet relief after the election. finally the story went voters would provide clarity, a choice played out across the country that would deliver the elusive answers. what are we getting? endless posturing, game playing and the same rhetoric over and over again. both sides standing up and preening themselves campaign style as if they expect the public to pay attention and give deference to the repetition of the same ideas. i for one are tired of it. americans have been poked and prodded, pulled left and right at the same time and used in some cases abused. the campaign is over. we have had our fill of the various white house representatives repeating the same campaign stump speech. my idea, these people should all
1:47 am
just go away and not be heard from again until they have an answer. if there's no answer, come back january 1st and say there is no answer. but leave us out of their reindeer games. our voice versus been heard. we've done our part for love of country. now it's their turn. that's my view. >> wow! i've never seen anything like this. >> when disaster strikes sometimes the only way out is to look within. current tv digs deep into the extraordinary tales of heroism determination and escape. "trapped" experience the drama. back to back to back. >> hold on mates! >> catch the "trapped" premier mini-marathon today starting at 1 eastern. on current tv.
1:48 am
1:49 am
>> eliot: it's hard to believe but christmas season is already here. or for some of us, than cuss and as mitt romney will tell
1:50 am
you, the gift giving has already begun. presidentromney famously said that by giving gifts to its constituents. so the g.o.p. decided to reciprocate by giving a few gifts to its base. of the 19 committee chairmanships in the house this up coming year, all 19 went to old or middle-aged white men. then at the lunch with the president, according to the record the centerpiece of the menu, white turkey. apparently the president wasn't employing his gifts of subtilty. >> what religion is involved with christmas? what religion. >> christianity is not a religion. it is a philosophy. it is a fact that christianity is not a religion. it is a philosophy. >> so you're going to tell me on live television that
1:51 am
christianity is not a religion. >> correct, it's a philosophy. >> you and i disagree fundamentally. >> don't tell me what i think. when i said i don't have a problem, got it. insane. >> your merry band of fascists. >> you called me a fascist. >> absolutely. >> i'm a patriot, sir. >> eliot: oh, man, so he's a patriot, that makes bill, that's right, a pinhead. anyone who watches bill o'reilly understand what i said. john fugelsang that was holiday spirit. >> you can't call liberals fascist. that's like saying holy war kosher shrimp or fox news. >> eliot: those are our favorite phrases. >> indeed. but it's so fun to watch bill o'reilly bug out over this none existent war on christmas. the best tenant, you're always
1:52 am
the victim. he's angry at people saying happy holidays instead of merry christmas. >> eliot: he also said something that i just don't get. christianity not a religion? i don't get it. >> his point, i get what he's trying to say. christianity is a philosophy and protestantism, but christian christianism is a philosophy. >> eliot: this is like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. >> are we talking about philosophy. >> eliot: we won't pars wisdom with bill o'reilly. >> i want to say this whole war on christmas brouhaha. on his worst day jesus christ never played victim. when these guys go around saying how downtrodden they are and
1:53 am
when you say happy holidays to someone, you don't presume they're part of your club. you have to allow that people are that you were. saying happy holidays is more christian than saying merry christmas. >> eliot: isn't it every year that they roll out this stuff. >> yes the median age of a bill o'reilly viewer is 109. they're giving them exactly what they want. >> eliot: if they live that long. beg argument for believing as he does, which is not a whole lot. let's switch gears, the republicans and their their men for their committees, have they learned nothing of the 19 white old men. this could be a campaign poster for the democratic party. why didn't they have the wisdom to change . >> because learning is appeasement. this is whiting than an albino
1:54 am
troop. it's ludicrous and it goes to show they don't learn. they don't want to learn. they don't value that. >> eliot: you know, i got to disagree with you a little bit. movement on immigration. >> yeah a little bit. >> eliot: they're throwing something-- >> in terms of getting votes. >> eliot: correct, but not giving up power. >> no, it's progress for republicans is what matters. they'll man der to our pander to our mexican-american friends just enough to get their votes. >> eliot: maybe you're on to something when they had the convention when they rolled out minority or gender-based individual that they can puts up on the lecturn and say see. >> they'll say the republicans fought for gay rights. mitt romney will be bragging
1:55 am
that he stood up for gay rights 30 years from now. >> eliot: he's going to forget, he'll forget that he ran for president. he's only going to remember what he did when he was governor. that's a better story for him. >> i hope so, because that group is whiting than a kabuki empire. >> eliot: it is amazingly insensitive and politically dumb. switching gears, mitt romney. he had a good lunch date. >> but what a tragedy that was election day was for comedians. election day took away a lot of mitt romney jokes. i was glad to see it. your joke on white turkey. you know what, it was turkey white chilly, that means he had leverovers. but at least obama did not serve him crow. >> eliot: who knows, nobody knows if it was turkey or crew. >> this is when mitt romney got
1:56 am
free stuff that we paid for is. >> eliot: what do you make of the lunch? >> i thought it was a great opportunity for both men to look really good and they blew it. they could have agreed on something that would have made the two of them look great. it more than barack obama at this point. nothing happened, and they were cordial enough. >> eliot: i was surprised something tangible was not allowed. the president is gracious and bipartisan and romney needs something to stay relevant. >> he's bipartisan. he made the obama healthcare plan. >> eliot: i have to give matt miller credit for this idea. he could have asked mitt romney to chair a council on healthcare cost. you're a numbers guy. you're the consultant. figure out where we can in a humane way drive costs down and give us good ideas. that would have been useful for both of them. >> healthcare would have been an
1:57 am
ideal way to do it. he could have put him on a committee that make them look good. that's the irony at the end of the day. the only guy in d.c. who will have lunch with mitt romney is barack obama. >> eliot: who do you think picked up the bill. >> i think maybe the president. >> i think we paid for mitt romney's free stuff. >> eliot: very quickly, are you as tired of the fiscal cliff as i am? >> some guy there is a guy named clifford who is plotting the murder of coworkers that call him fiscal cliff. i'm over. i'm ready to throw the fiscal cliff off a physical cliff. >> eliot: if i see john boehner give the same speech. >> john boehner, they voted for it in 2008 and again in 2012 john boehner making a fuss on this is like the man who lost lotto and still demanding
1:58 am
1:59 am